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Small Business Websites That Work

Book cover: Small Business Websites That Work By Sean McManus
Published by Prentice Hall (Pearson)

Making money through advertising and affiliate programmes

This is the pocket money economy with payouts and business behaviour to match

At a glance:

Chapter Summary

Membership of affiliate programmes can help to broaden your company's online offering, but it will make a contribution to costs rather than being a big money spinner.

Once your website reaches higher levels of traffic, you can join advertising networks that will sell adverts into the site automatically and will offer higher payouts for each click. Alternatively, you can sell their own advertising packages that reflect the value of branding directly.

By putting adverts on your site, you're inviting competition into your business. Every advert vies for attention with your content and aims to divert readers out of your site and into the advertising site.

You need to make sure that your website, and more importantly your business, credibility are not undermined by the adverts. Make it clear what you're being paid to say, so that visitors don't question your every word once they realise some text is sponsored.

It's going to take a significant commitment to building traffic and content to make money from advertising. If your lifetime value of a customer is high, your website could be profitable by delivering a few good leads into the business a month. To make money from advertising, you'll need to promote the site ferociously so that you build a loyal and high quality audience for advertising. Don't let this drain resources from your core business, which will be more profitable in most cases.

These are the subheadings in this chapter:

Standard advert sizes

These are the most commonly-seen standard advert sizes. Avoid using design elements on your site that could be confused with an advert and use standard-sized adverts to make the distinction between editorial and advertising clear.

Screenshot showing different sizes of banner ads

Cartoon: Cran & Lerma

Cran & Lerma cartoon strip about banner ads

Cran & Lerma ©Nik Scott. Visit his site and commission cartoons from him at

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